Getting angry about things or situations that annoy you is completely normal. But having frequent episodes of aggression and outbursts is alarming. Of course, that’s when you must consult a therapist for help with your anger management skills.
Here are a few signs that shows that point to a need for anger management skills to be found through therapy and other sources:
- Constant restlessness.
- High blood pressure issues.
- Frequent arguments and fights.
- Losing temper while driving.
- Breaking laws.
- Threatening your partner or colleague at work.
- Breaking objects while in an argument.
These signs simply show that your anger issues have elevated and you need a therapist now. Your professional consultant then might suggest group therapy sessions or one-to-one meetings with the therapist. Or therapy might also involve anger management exercises or mindfulness techniques.
However, if you’re only experiencing infrequent outbursts that are not yet physically harmful to others or for yourself, there are steps you can take to try to control them in the here and now. This involves knowing about simple steps that you can do yourself.
According to Mind, a mental health charity in the United Kingdom, you can control your anger in three basic steps:
1. Recognize the triggers.
- Recognize the triggers.
- Step away from the situation.
- Apply anger management techniques
First and foremost, you must become aware of the things that constantly annoy you. For instance, you might not be happy with your current position at work. Or, perhaps you live in a dysfunctional home. Ultimately, you’ll have frequent outbursts of rage, from all the anxieties you’re holding inside.
Top 3 causes of anger.
To begin to learn how to exercise anger management, it is important to know what triggers anger. Let’s look at the top three causes of anger.
- Fear is the top anger trigger. This is not about fear for your life, but rather social fears. The fear of embarrassment or failure is huge in causing extreme emotions. Our mind will change the fear into anger as a natural defense mechanism.
- Frustration that builds up over time. If you don’t recognize or know how to deal with frustration, it easily tuns into anxieties that lead to anger.
- Emotional pain as a result of rejection by a loved one or losing someone dear to you is one of the hardest to overcome and easily leads to anger.
The warning signs that you’re about to rage.
But you can avoid these fits of rage by learning to recognize them instantly. However, that’s only possible when are aware enough to recognize and feel the symptoms. The most common symptoms of a rage outburst are:
- Racing heartbeat.
- Parched dry mouth.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Clenching of the jaw.
- Tension headache.
- Instant sweating.
- Trembling and shaking.
- Urge to run from the situation.
- Easily irritated.
- Sadness or depression.
- Extreme guilt feelings.
- Uncontrollable anxieties.
- Striking out verbally or physically.
Other significant signs.
- Rubbing your hands, face, or head.
- Constant pacing.
- Responding to others with sarcasm.
- Loosing your sense of humor.
- Acting out in an abusive or abrasive manner.
- Craving alcohol, cigarettes or other substances.
- Yelling, screaming, or extreme crying.
Tip o’ the Hat to: MentalHealth.net
2. Step away from the situation.
Now you are aware of things that trigger you and are more aware of the signs, you must consider how to cope when these situations arise. So, whenever you know that you’re triggered and you’re about to burst out anytime, the best possible solution is to give your mind a break. For the time being, step away from the situation.
This might look like going for a walk, or shutting off the thoughts that are bothering you by talking to a friend or your therapist. Changing your environment is a big help in not doing things you regret later. In addition, finding diversions such as moving furniture, doing housework, or walking swiftly around the block.
Easy diversion techniques.
Remember the word “Diversion!” Diversion is a big help when trying to avoid anger. Below is a list of interesting diversions that you can include in your tool box for instantly dealing with anger.
- Write, draw, paint, photography.
- Work in your garden.
- Play an instrument, sing, dance, act.
- Take a shower or a bath.
- Take a brisk walk, or go for a drive.
- Watch television or a movie.
- Watch cute kitten videos on YouTube.
- Play a game.
- Go shopping.
- Clean or organize your environment.
- Take a break or better yet, take a vacation. VIA PositivePsychology.com
3. Apply anger management skills and techniques.
There’s a rush of adrenaline in your body when you’re angry. This hypes your energy, motivating you to take actions. So why not use that energy in something productive and lower your level of adrenaline?
So, your third step is to apply simple anger management techniques, such as exercising, running, taking deep breaths or counting backwards from 10. Some people also use it creatively, like in writing songs, or painting. In fact, creativity is a great stress and anger reducer.
Other skills and techniques to explore.
Techniques that we recommend for anger management include:
Studies have supported that yoga helps in anger management. It helps improve your cognitive functions that are related to your thinking patterns and reactions. Also, it helps with verbal aggressiveness.
Laughing is the best therapy for your stressed body and also it uses up the excess energy in your body. So, watch a good show or maybe crack some jokes.
According to recent research, meditation allows you to disengage from distracting thoughts and gently allows you dissipate the negative energies. It also helps you to increase focus and mindfulness.
Excellent types of therapy to explore.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy (Shapiro, 2001) was initially developed in 1987 for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is guided by the Adaptive Information Processing model (Shapiro 2007). EMDR is an individual therapy typically delivered one to two times per week for a total of 6-12 sessions, although some people benefit from fewer sessions.
Cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy involves helping you switch your thoughts and behavioral patterns. It helps you understand what the situation is for you that triggers anger.
Dialectical behavioral therapy.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a holistic approach to a calmer life when you learn the skills of mindfulness. This helps you to accept the current situations and stay in the moment.
Psychodynamic therapy is as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy. According to research, it helps treat depression the same way. This therapy is firmly grounded in contemporary clinical practice and research.
It is our wish that you find this post enlightening and helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, we love to hear from you in the comments below. Also, kindly accept our invitation to join our group on Facebook to surround yourself with kindred spirits and post your encouraging messages.